Columbia University student’s mic repeatedly cuts out during anti-Israel commencement rant


A Columbia University student’s anti-Israel remarks during her commencement address were disrupted after an apparent glitch repeatedly cut off her microphone.

Saham David Ahmed Ali was addressing graduates of the Mailman School of Public Health, when her speech turned to bashing the Ivy League school and Israel’s war in Gaza, which has resulted in a high civilian death toll.

“The silence on this campus and the pressure to say nothing while the administration and professors assert that ‘we’re here for you’ while we’re actively witnessing the most televised genocide of our lives made me lose hope,” she can be heard saying.

Video of her speech then shows her mic abruptly cutting off as she continued about the Gaza war. Students in the crowd immediately joined in a chant, repeatedly saying “let her speak.”

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENT IN HANDCUFFS RIPS UP DIPLOMA ON COMMENCEMENT STAGE IN ACT OF PROTEST

Saham David Ahmed Ali

Saham David Ahmed Ali was addressing graduates of the Mailman School of Public Health when her mic cut out. (Columbia Public Health)

The microphone appeared to cut off a few times before Ali was able to complete her remarks to the health school’s new graduates.

“In today’s speech, I want to talk to you all about hope. It is far too easy to lose sight of hope,” she started her remarks. “We live in a world that seems to strip away our humanity. It feels dystopian walking through Mailman’s halls everyday, scrolling through social media while I witness the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

Ali looking confused

The microphone appeared to cut off a few times before Ali was able to complete her remarks to the health school’s new graduates. (Columbia Public Health)

She continued for approximately 15 minutes in total.

Fox News Digital reached out to Columbia University for additional information but a response was not immediately received.

Anti-Israel agitators construct an encampment on Columbia University’s campus

Columbia University canceled its main commencement address amid massive anti-Israel demonstrations on the campus that disrupted the facilities in recent months. (Peter Gerber)

According to the New York Post, a university spokesperson denied her speech was intentionally impeded.

“The momentary loss of audio during the speech was an unintentional technical glitch,” the spokesperson told The Post.

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS END ANTI-ISRAEL HUNGER STRIKE ‘DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS’

On Wednesday, Columbia was scheduled to have its main commencement address, but it was canceled amid massive anti-Israel demonstrations on the campus that disrupted the facilities in recent months.

Students march on Columbia University campus in support of a protest encampment supporting Palestinians

Instead of a formal commencement, President Minouche Shafik wrote an op-ed in the Columbia Spectator student newspaper. (REUTERS/David Dee Delgado)

Instead of a formal commencement, President Minouche Shafik wrote an op-ed in the Columbia Spectator student newspaper congratulating the newest generation of Columbia grads.

“In any other year, I would be speaking to you today from the steps of Low Library. You, a glorious sea of blue regalia, would be surrounded by your loved ones and by the faculty and deans who guided you through your Columbia journey. We would be celebrating you and sending you off as graduates of a great university about to turn 270 years old,” wrote Shafik, who has faced calls to resign amid a turbulent last few months.

She added: “Canceling the traditional commencement ceremony was one of the toughest calls in a year of many tough calls.”

Shafik at Columbia graduation ceremony

President Minouche Shafik said: ‘Canceling the traditional commencement ceremony was one of the toughest calls in a year of many tough calls.’ (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“There is no overstating the strain the past seven months have placed on our community. An extraordinary and tragic set of events is unfolding in the Middle East, and as a great university, we must engage with these issues,” the president wrote. “We must also confront the reality that polarization can develop among any group of people — even members of a university community who otherwise cherish their right to express their thoughts and opinions freely. The conflict between the rights of pro-Palestinian protesters and the impact that their protests have had on some members of our Jewish community is what makes this moment singularly fraught.”

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“For all of you, my wish is that the challenges you faced during this difficult era will inspire you and make you stronger, just as previous generations of Columbians were shaped by the events of their time. I will look back on the class of 2024 with admiration and special fondness,” Shafik continued. “Your university experience was bookended by COVID-19 and conflict, which no doubt made you acutely aware of how events in the world affect our lives. You are the future leaders of a world that has never needed you more.”

She concluded: “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to you and to your friends and family who are rightly proud of you. Good luck.”



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